Free Speech Under Attack in Sac

Katy Grimes: Silencing dissenting political opinions is a tactic used throughout history when one political party dominates. In Democratically-dominated California, some on the left are trying to gin up interest in silencing talk radio.

Across the U.S., there have been frequent discussions and even attempts to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, an FCC-imposed law which was supposedly designed to ensure that broadcasters addressed political issues with a full spectrum of opinion. But it did not work, and was eliminated in 1987 during the Reagan Administration.

Currently, the left is going after Clear Channel Comunications, the parent company of thousands of radio stations across the country. Clear Channel also just happens to broadcast talk show personality Rush Limbaugh.

If you google “Clear Channel and Rush Limbaugh,” stories from the left calling for Clear Channel to drop Limbaugh’s show from the airwaves dominate the story choices.

“In Sacramento, Clear Channel Communications broadcasts about 190 hours per week of one-sided political talk over three giant stations, KFBK-AM, KGBY-FM and AMFM Holding’s KSTE-AM,” Sue Wilson wrote last Sunday in the Sacramento Bee opinion pages. Wilson is a  former local NPR radio host, is clearly politically liberal, and started the Media Action Center, a group which appears to have been created solely to target Clear Channel.

Wilson wrote unabashedly that Clear Channel is violating “the First Amendment rights of all who equally own the public airwaves, disagree with right-wing politics, but are not allowed to be heard at all. It is a matter of access, says the Supreme Court.

Under the guise of “it’s not fair,” Wilson complained loudly in her op ed that while the First Amendment is practiced in broadcasting, Clear Channel “broadcasters are stamping out the rights of liberals” through talk radio, and the dominance of more conservative radio programs.

Wilson lives and works in Democratically controlled California — a veritable feeding ground for left-leaning politicians, and comfortable home to Democratic politics. It doesn’t get any easier for a liberal than California. Yet, Wilson complained loudly that conservative talk radio dominates the talk radio format. But her argument was devoid of reason — she apparently forgot to demand equal time for liberals and conservatives on television and in print.

Ignoring for a moment, supply and demand economics and how the free market works, this is not a new issue for Wilson. She has publicly whined about the unfairness of talk radio for years, which is somewhat surprising since she worked for Capitol Public Radio in Sacramento, an NPR affiliate that does very well.

The first thing listed on her Media Action Group website, is a demand to boycott Rush Limbaugh advertisers. However, I dare to suggest that Wilson has figured out that she can promote herself in liberal circles by continually attaching her name to Limbaugh’s. There’s no one more polarizing to liberal media folk than Limbaugh.

Liberal radio is not only a financial failure, it’s boring. But more importantly, by working as a shill for the Fairness Doctrine, Wilson is in effect demanding that the government force Clear Channel, a private business, to carry a product that people don’t want to buy.

Clear Channel is in business to make a profit. So was Air America, but Air America was unable to make a go of it. Clear Channel has gone out of its way, at great expense, to sign big talk show names, and has invested significantly in radio stations, radio personalities and programs.

I don’t have a beef with any talk radio, and don’t feel threatened by liberal or conservative shows competing. But Wilson only complained about three of the six stations operated by Clear Channel in the Sacramento area – only the three stations which broadcast conservative talk radio. The Sacramento market isn’t huge, at only about 50 radio stations. The two Clear Channel stations which broadcast Limbaugh, are ranked only 7th and 17th in the Sacramento market.

But Wilson ignored Salem Broadcasting, which operates several radio stations in Sacramento, and broadcasts conservatives Bill Bennett, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt, as well as Christian radio.

The beauty of the free market is that we can either tune into another radio program or turn the radio off. Dictating that Clear Channel cut some Limbaugh programming for alternative, progressive radio is a very dangerous statist policy, and should be fought, whether we like Limbaugh’s show or not.

But that’s not enough for Wilson — she thinks that she, Democrats and the government should be able to dictate just how much conservative radio is broadcast.

The Liberal agenda already controls the majority of media through television news, newspapers, and news shows. The entertainment industry is dominated by the liberal agenda, which slants most movies and television to the left, and regularly rewrites history. However, if you don’t like a television show or movie, you can turn it off and seek out something more to yor liking.

“Yes, it is censorship for the government to tell hosts what they may or may not say,” Wilson wrote. “But when Clear Channel puts one political point of view on our public airwaves to the exclusion of all others, that is private censorship.”

We need more speech, not less, as Wilson calls for. This is where liberals prove that they are not selling free speech for all — they want free speech for themselves, and silence for the rest of the talkers.

MAR. 28, 2012


Write a comment
  1. David H
    David H 28 March, 2012, 09:31

    Not surprising. Two faced, double-minded, hypocritical, all the names in the book. Look at the union power for example, can the politicians honestly say that every citizen has the same and equal rights as the unions exercise over others? Over businesses? Not that it is a “right”(acutally a wrong) that the unions exercise over others, but you get what I mean.

    Reply this comment
  2. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 28 March, 2012, 15:47

    Like most other institutions in America, the media, to include talk radio, is largely bought and paid for by the big special interests. The intricate scams forced upon the masses by both government and Wall Street are never really explained in detail by any form of the american mainstream media. If Brian Williams came on the 6 o’clock news and reported the facts that Matt Taibbi delivers in Rolling Stone Mag, Mr. Williams would be yanked off the air so fast his head would spin in circles. That’s why the average american is so confused and dazed by the events that go on around him. He’s filled with half-truth and outright lies by partisan hacks who are beholden to the ones who hold the purse strings. So there is really no ‘free speech’ in American’s mainstream information delivery system. The TV networks, newspapers and news magazines are packed full of puppets who write and say what they’re told. The conservative vs. liberal stuff is meant to ‘divide and control’ and confuse the peasants. Just as they’ve done with gay vs. straight, female vs. male, religious vs. secular, black vs. white, etc…

    If they can coax you to pick a side and join one of the teams – you’ve been gamed.

    Reply this comment
  3. Rogue Elephant
    Rogue Elephant 28 March, 2012, 18:35

    Ah, the totalitarian left!

    Reply this comment
  4. queeg
    queeg 30 March, 2012, 09:47

    Here we go again…big baddie business…conspiracy…..populist pap!!!

    Reply this comment
  5. Sue Wilson
    Sue Wilson 6 April, 2012, 16:44

    Katy Grimes likes to make a fruit salad out her analysis, mixing apples and oranges and bananas and grapes with whipped cream, so it all looks good but you don’t know what you’re eating.

    Sigh. Where to begin?

    First, it is true that I am a former NPR host. I also have an Emmy for my work at FOX, ferreting out wasteful government spending during the Clinton administration. Grimes knows that, she just decided not to tell her readers. (I also have an Emmy for work at CBS in LA and for PBS in Sacramento, to give you the full picture. Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.

    Grimes then accuses me of working as a shill for the Fairness Doctrine. Again, she must be aware of the story I broke last summer that the FCC formally buried the Fairness Doctrine. It’s dead, Katy, gone, buried. Not one thing I say has anything to do with the Fairness Doctrine, and you know it. Again, you are purposely confusing your audience; give them half the facts and it’s so much easier to manipulate them, isn’t it?

    Dum de dum, let’s see, she says I’m not going after Salem Broadcasting. Wrong. I am. But Clear Channel is a good starter, as they are the single largest radio operator in the country, and they have five (although they claim six) stations in Sacramento.

    Grimes states that “she,(me) Democrats and the government should be able to dictate just how much conservative radio is broadcast.” More whipped cream. The fact is that giant corporations, which are trying to get out of the deal they made with the public, are dictating just how much conservative radio is broadcast. Even though their ratings are plummeting, they hold fast to having conservative – and only conservative – ideas put out over our public airwaves. Radio and TV. They belong to all of us.

    Then she brings up the biggest lie of them all, the one that William Kristol made up years ago, and went with it because it tested well: “The Liberal agenda already controls the majority of media through television news, newspapers, and news shows.”

    First, Katy, if we look at TV, we’ll see that shows like The Voice and American Idol and Dancing with the Stars and NCIS dominate the schedule. Where’s the liberalism? There are a few liberal shows, yes, but not enough to support your argument. And don’t be calling news shows liberal just because they tell uncomfortable truths. That’s called journalism. Second,if you want a conservative newspaper, start one. There’s nothing to stop you. But show me mid-large size a radio station in Sacramento which is available for purchase, and we’ll buy it at appraised price. You can’t; there are none.

    To be very clear, Katy Grimes, I do want more speech, not less. All over the radio and TV dials. But I personally prefer to make things clear, to say here is an orange and here is an apple, no whipped cream necessary.

    Still would LOVE to debate you, Katy. Do you dare?

    Reply this comment
  6. randy
    randy 5 November, 2012, 01:19

    bring back ksac enuff said

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Dreamers leaving CA

The New York Times ran a fascinating graphic showing how California, while still a major destination of those from foreign lands,

Chief justice continues bail reform push

Seven months after her office released sweeping recommendations for reform of California’s bail system, state Supreme Court Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye

Ding, dong, tax bill is dead!

Sept. 1, 2012 Katy Grimes: The California Senate killed Assembly Speaker John Pérez’s AB 1500, which would have taxed out-of-state